Week 11–the heart of a journalist

I had a busy week, mostly taking pictures and making videos. I’m starting to get into the back-to-school mode and trying to tie up loose ends before I make the plunge back into homework and deadlines.

One thing I have noticed in the past few years since deciding on a career in journalism; I see everything as a potential story… everything. It has taken me practice and know-how to determine exactly what kind of story it will be, but a story, nonetheless.

I walked into the Mount Mercy University bookstore today to say hello to a friend and ended up leaving with information about a jewelry display on their counter. I never noticed it before and I asked Janie Mills, the manager of the bookstore, if it was new. She told me no, but it had been in a basket at the end of the counter, and they just decided to display it better. The jewelry sales, she continued, is raising money for cancer research, and was started by a local girl whose mother was dying of cancer. She was 12 years old when she started, and Janie said didn’t know much more about it, but said the bookstore is selling the jewelry to help them out.

That’s all I needed to know. It was the start of a story. I’m still not sure what I will do with it, but I’m sure something will come of it.

That’s what I mean. I just have it in my blood, I guess. I find so many things interesting that sometimes it gets me into trouble and I end up with so many things on my plate. I have to learn to decide what things are more important.

This weekend my grandson had his Su Kwan, a Buddhist blessing, which I blogged about earlier. I saw a story there, too. I really did try to just enjoy the celebration, as any grandparent would, but I couldn’t help myself. I wanted to get just the right angle for pictures, just the right spot for the video. I just kept thinking to myself, they’ll thank me some day. And I did enjoy it, just not leisurely. I think everyone is getting used to seeing me carry a camera around everywhere I go, snapping pictures, looking for the perfect photo opportunity.

My 5-year-old granddaughter spent the night with me last night and she started telling me about her day at a rinky-dink zoo in Manchester, Iowa, which was at a lady’s house. She was so funny that I had to stop her and go get my camera to record her. “OK, now tell me again about the animals you saw,” I told her. I didn’t have to encourage her too much; she’s a natural!

I used to think it was strange of me to see a story in most everything I heard and saw, but now I don’t think it’s so out of the ordinary–not for a journalist, anyway.

Su Kwan Video

Zoo Video

The Hiawatha Advocate

One Comment

  1. Of course, being choosey about which potential story deserves time and energy is also part of the issue–but your main point is one that I try to emphasize to students a lot. There are always stories to tell. It’s one of the reasons why I have started to require blogs in some classes–to try to get students to realize that gathering information is the hard part, finding subjects is easy ….


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